2006 has arrived. It's a new year and new years can be associated with new beginnings and new year resolutions. A new year resolution is a declaration, determination and commitment towards a purpose or a goal.
People make all sorts of declarations as they enter into a new year. Some people promise to go on a diet that will lead to a healthier body and lifestyle. Some people commit to better habits and attitudes, for example towards spending and money management. Some people promise never to commit their heart again to a relationship as a result of heartache and past experiences.
Whatever the new year resolution is, it is driven by Hope. Hope that the declaration will produce the change desired, but unfortunately without Christ hope is an expectation with no guarantee. For example a couple could hope for bright co-operative weather on their wedding day but there is no real guarantee that it will not rain even if the weather forecast predicts sunshine.
But as Christians we have a hope that does not disappoint.
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5 (NIV)
As Christians we have the love of Christ producing change, character, greatness and purpose in us through the holy spirit. Whatever we hope for according to the will of God we have it through faith in Christ Jesus.
When we hope in Christ we have a firm confidence and assurance based on God's mercy and unchanging nature. Hope without Christ is false optimism.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.Colossians 1:27 (NIV)
This verse really sums what I'm trying to say. Without Christ we can do nothing. Christ living in us is our hope of glory, success and happiness. Whatever you're hoping for in this new year let Christ be the foundation. Let him be the energy that drives your dreams, goals, plans, and actions.
If we loose sight of this as Christians then our hopes can become that new year resolution that easily fades away in the face of temptation, trials and adversity.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV)
I hope that you will keep on hoping in Christ, the beautiful vine to which we are connected. Without him we can do nothing. I pray that all your hopes and dreams become a reality in 2006 in Jesus' name and I wish you a very happy new year.
Posted 7 January 2006